On Thursday, June 13, the Colorado Departments of Local Affairs and Corrections and the Governor's Offices of Economic Development and International Trade and State Planning and Budgeting, will co-host a meeting in Delta to discuss the state's plan forward for appropriately utilizing state prisons and assisting communities which may be adversely impacted by potential prison closures in the future.
The meeting will be held at the Delta County Courthouse, 501 Palmer, from 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Because of a variety of factors, Colorado's prison population has been declining in recent years and this has created an excess capacity of prison beds. In 2012, the Colorado General Assembly commissioned the Prison Utilization Study which directed the Department of Corrections to conduct a systemwide analysis that identifies the most appropriate and cost-effective uses of the available public and private inmate beds.
Pursuant to statute, the Office of State Planning and Budgeting will work with the legislature's Joint Budget Committee to develop a plan going forward.
"The state is very aware of the important role many of these prisons play in local economies, and we are committed to doing everything we can to minimize potential adverse impacts caused by changes in prison use and mitigate unavoidable impacts," said Reeves Brown, executive director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. "In the most recent legislative session, the General Assembly approved funding for a proactive partnership between the Department of Local Affairs and Office of Economic Development and International Trade to engage impacted communities in a comprehensive effort to diversify local economies; we will also discuss this opportunity as part of this upcoming community meeting."
This 90-minute meeting will include representatives from each of the hosting entities, and will allow plenty of time for questions and open discussion.
Similar meetings are being held across the state the week of June 10, beginning on the eastern plains and moving west to the Front Range and Western Slope.blog comments powered by Disqus